The St. Louis Cardinals are in a weird place this season. They are not playing all that well, they are below .500, but they are still within striking distance of first place in the National League Central.
It has frustrated to watch the team play. In early May, the St. Louis Cardinals went on a tear. That ended with two straight losses to the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the month. Since then, they have only won one series; that was the sweep of Philadelphia that ended a seven game drought.
They are slowly slipping out of contention for the division lead. Without winning the division, it is doubtful that the team will make the playoffs considering they are now 11.5 games out of the lead. It is doable, but the way the Cardinals are playing, it is looking more and more doubtful by the game.
Something discussed during the Redbird Rants Podcast on Monday was the St. Louis Cardinals lacking the necessary energy to climb out of the middle of the Central and take over the division. While the recent barrage of offense shows some energy, our podcast host, Tito Rivera, pointed out that it was not the right kind of energy.
Even though we haven’t reached the All-Star Break, the St. Louis Cardinals need to find the spark for the kind of energy they need. That kind of energy gives them what they need to win consistently. Tito described it as a “back against the wall” feeling.
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He may not be wrong. Look at what happens when the end of the season rolls around.
Last season the St. Louis Cardinals needed to make a push for the playoffs, and they took it down to the wire.
Now, it unfortunately didn’t go their way, but it exposed what they could do.
That “back against the wall” feeling is what they need, but how can they find it this early?
Well, if they don’t, they will be at risk of not being in the playoffs for a second straight year. There are other factors at play, however as the cliché goes, energy is everything.
It is clear something has to change. The energy in the clubhouse could a big part of it. There are no magic fixes. That is evident by the offense exploding while the pitching implodes. There is good news though.
By sliding Matt Carpenter to the lead-off position, and Dexter Fowler to the second hole, the offense came alive. Now, ace Carlos Martinez is finally playing as expected. Hopefully his pitching has the same effect on the pitching staff that Carp and Dex had on the offense.
Like I said before, it is a tight race in the NL Central. While there are any number of factors that could inspire the on-field play, the energy is one of the contributing aspects. That “back against the wall” feeling needs to arrive earlier than playoff push.